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Doge’s Palace with Hidden Secret Itineraries & Prison Skip the Line Tour

Venezia, Italy
  • 1 hour 25 minutes (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English

Overview

Discover the mysteries of the Doge’s Palace in Venice with this secret itineraries tour. Skip the long line and head straight inside to explore the palace’s opulent public chambers adorned with masterpieces of Renaissance art. Learn how the powerful doges ruled the Venetian Republic with an iron fist, and gain rare entry into shadowy quarters of the Piombi attic prison, where Casanova was once locked up. Walk across the famous Bridge of Sighs and wander the dark dungeons of the New Prison network.
  • Doge's Palace tour with skip-the-line entrance ticket
  • Tour the beautiful public rooms and see Renaissance artwork by Tintoretto and Veronese
  • Learn about the doges of Venice, who ruled the city for a thousand years
  • Enjoy exclusive access to the Piombi attic prison, where Casanova was once held
  • Walk across the Bridge of Sighs to explore the New Prisons
  • Upgrade for access to the Secret Itineraries of the Doge’s Palace and skip-the-line access to St. Mark’s Basilica, including the terraces

What's Included

  • Professional guide
  • Skip the Line Access
  • Choose to upgrade your tour with St. Mark's Basilica and its Terraces (only when option is selected)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks

Departure & Return

Departure Point

  • Riva degli Schiavoni, Riva degli Schiavoni, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy

    Meet next to Ponte della Paglia, the bridge with the view of the Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), in front of the Doge's Palace, facing the lagoon.

Return Details

This activity will end right where it started.

What To Expect

Built in the 14th century, the Doge’s Palace was once the governing base of the former Venetian Republic’s powerful rulers, the doges. Meet your guide in St Mark’s Square, and admire the palace’s magnificent Venetian Gothic architecture before heading to the front of the long entry queue. 

Wander through awe-inspiring public rooms adorned from floor to ceiling with gilded carvings, murals and opulent décor. Your guide will point out Renaissance masterworks by painters Tintoretto and Veronese, including the famous ceiling fresco Juno Bestowing her Gifts on Venice. See the Trial Chambers of the Council of Ten and learn how this room was used to dispatch the fearsome secret service to investigate traitors of the republic. 

Ascend to the attic and step inside the secretive chambers of the Piombi prison—a network of cells directly beneath the palace’s lead roof that was generally reserved for upper-class inmates and political prisoners. Let your imagination run wild in this part of the palace that is rarely open to the public, and hear how the legendary Venetian lover Casanova was imprisoned here and later made a daring escape. 

Next, cross the famous Bridge of Sighs into the New Prison complex, built in the 16th century. Wander the harrowing network of cells on your own, and then breathe a sigh of relief as you step back into the open air of St Mark’s Square at the end of your tour.

Choose to upgrade your tour with the unique combination of the Secret Itineraries of the Doge’s Palace, usually closed to the general public and the skip the line access to St. Mark’s Basilica, including the terraces.

The first part of the tour start at 9am and it combines a guided visit to the Secret Itineraries with a free visit to Doge’s Chambers, assuring you get the most complete tour of the Doge’s Palace.

Then you will meet again at 2pm to visit St. Mark's Basilica and its Terraces. The queues here can be long but no worries, we have Skip the Line Access!

Your expert guide will take you inside this cavernous space for an extended tour, pointing out mosaics that date all the way back to the 11th century and beautiful artworks.

Then it’s up to the second floor for some stolen time inside this busy basilica. The terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica are stunning and worth a visit in their own right, not to mention the incredible views they offer over bustling Piazza San Marco below, the Doge’s Palace and the lagoon.

Piazza San Marco

Built in the 14th century, the Doge’s Palace was once the governing base of the former Venetian Republic’s powerful rulers, the doges. Meet your guide in St Mark’s Square, and admire the palace’s magnificent Venetian Gothic architecture before heading to the front of the long entry queue.

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Doge's Palace

Built in the 14th century, the Doge’s Palace was once the governing base of the former Venetian Republic’s powerful rulers, the doges. Meet your guide in St Mark’s Square and admire the palace’s magnificent Venetian Gothic architecture before heading to the front of the long entry queue. Wander through awe-inspiring public rooms adorned from floor to ceiling with gilded carvings, murals and opulent décor. Your guide will point out Renaissance masterworks by painters Tintoretto and Veronese, including the famous ceiling fresco Juno Bestowing her Gifts on Venice. See the Trial Chambers of the Council of Ten and learn how this room was used to dispatch the fearsome secret service to investigate traitors of the republic. Ascend to the attic and step inside the secretive chambers of the Piombi prison — a network of cells directly beneath the palace’s lead roof that was generally reserved for upper-class inmates and political prisoners. Let your imagination run wild in this part of the palace that is rarely open to the public and hear how the legendary Venetian lover Casanova was imprisoned here and later made a daring escape. Next, cross the famous Bridge of Sighs into the New Prison complex, built in the 16th century. Wander the harrowing network of cells on your own, and then breathe a sigh of relief as you step back into the open air of St Mark’s Square at the end of your 1.25-hour tour.

1 hour 25 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Children under the age of 6 years are not permitted on this tour
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 25 travelers
Operated by City Wonders Ltd

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

about cancellations

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


It is super warm inside the Palace and prison, so bring water, but it is so worth seeing.
Given the nature of the building, seating is very limited (or prohibited) and of course there is no A/C so can get very hot.
Fine for us, but beware for older/frail tourists - there are a lot of stairs and the rooms are hot and stuffy.
Reviews
4.5
660 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 660 reviews
Dodge's Palace
David_R, Nov 2019
We loved this tours as our guide took us into areas we otherwise would not have know about. She gave an educational entertaining tour.
Our tour guide was wonderful!
Renee W, Nov 2019
Our guide was so knowledgeable, funny, and was able to share so much about Venice. We were so thrilled to have this tour right after arriving.
Very Interesting
Voyage704761, Oct 2019
The palace and prisons are a maze so having a knowledgeable guide was ideal. We went behind the halls and explored the prisons and learned of key people who were kept there including Casanova. The palace rooms were spacious and we would have like to have had the guide continue on with us through those to gain the insight we did with the secret itineraries. I think my teens got lost in those rooms without the stories and raced through them.
Just ok
jollyhouse, Oct 2019
Lady who was our guide went on a bit too much until it was quite boring. More tour and less talk would of been nice. Not worth the money.
Skip the line tour
andrep_blom, Oct 2019
This give the opportunity to get access to the Palace without waiting in long queues. The tour guide also give very info on the history of this attraction. Will recommend this to anyone who have the interest to visit the attraction.
Nice Tour!
echalberg, Oct 2019
Our tour guide was very informative and she took us into the hidden areas of the palace to places you never would have known existed.
Doge’s Palace with Hidden Secret Itineraries & Prison Tour
MichaelS7097, Oct 2019
We really enjoyed this tour. Our guide gave us all the history and described it so well that it came to life for us. We went through the old prison, the hidden rooms and even saw the attic of the palace. It was very interesting. The tour ends at the beginning of the public area so you can go on to explore the rest of the palace on your own, which is incredible.
No guide for the Palace
Aus103, Oct 2019
This tour was quite interesting but focused mainly on the prison and Casanova;s story.. We were left to explore the whole palace and Bridge of Sighs by ourselves with no guide or even a brochure or map. Not good value for the money.
Great tour - but watch out for the meeting point!
Keri_S, Oct 2019
The address given for the meeting point takes you quite a way past the actual meeting point, which is just outside the palace (rather than 2 bridges further on...!). The tour was just the right length and the guide was very knowledgeable. Highly recommend.
Just ok
Debra_P, Oct 2019
This tour was mostly in the prison section. We toured the palace on our own after the tour guide left. Not great.
You have tour of prison, on own for palace
William_M, Sep 2019
You get exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes and the quality of the 1 hour depends somewhat on the intelligence of the other 24 people in your tour and the enlightening or really dumb questions that are asked. I was not satisfied with our guide and all the time she took to explain how she was going to explain the history. Please just begin.
Educational
Mary_B, Sep 2019
Enjoyed guide pleasant knowledge There were a lot of steps. I think that should have been mentioned Great guide company
Great tour
John_T, Sep 2019
Our tour guide was full of information & very animated- a real pleasure to listen to. Would definitely take the tour again.
Great way to avoid crowds and see the prison.
PerthABus, Sep 2019
Very informative guide. We loved the history - our guide was very informative. Group was a bit too large for the size of the rooms. Fine for us, but beware for older/frail tourists - there are a lot of stairs and the rooms are hot and stuffy.
Interesting Tour
Elmer_M, Aug 2019
The Doge's Palace with Hidden Secret Itineraries and Prison Skip the Line Tour was great. Our tour guide was excellent and well-informed. We were able to be inside the prisons and the palace before the crowds of people. After the tour ended, we were able to stay in the palace and explore at our own pace and leisure.
More 'Hidden Secret' than Doge Palace
Leighton_J, Aug 2019
We were a family of 4 including 2 teenagers and the group was maybe 25 people which we thought was probably too large. It was relatively easy to find the guide. Instructions were clear, but some how we walked right past the meeting point. Clearly our mistake, but we didn't have this problem with any other tour that we took. The guide provided earpieces so that we could hear very clearly. She spoke very good English and had a detailed knowledge of her subject. The tour itself was a little disappointing. The 'hidden secret' was certainly not accessible to the general public, so this tour was essential in visiting and hearing about this section of the palace - including the story about Casanova. But the tour ONLY covers the secret section. We were left to freely explore the palace, the bridge of sighs and the prison on our own. We would have much appreciated a guide to help us better understand all the other aspects of the palace that the general public get to experience with a normal ticket. We booked this tour because we wanted to see the "darker" side of the palace and we got most of that. It's just it would have been nice to have at least a brief guided tour of the public sections too. Finally, there is a lot of standing on this tour. Given the nature of the building, seating is very limited (or prohibited) and of course there is no A/C so can get very hot. There is a water fountain on route.
Doges Palace
Sandra_A, Aug 2019
This tour was very insightful and interesting. The guide was friendly and Knowledgeable. Enjoyed learning the history of the palace.
Perfect!
Valeria_K, Aug 2019
Not too long not too short! Hided places where you cannot enter with standard ticket. Interesting stories, nice and trained guide.
Secret Itineraries tour
Anne N, Aug 2019
Loved this tour. This is the only way to see the old prison cells and hidden rooms in the Doge's Palace. Tour guide was great and kept us all interested the entire tour.
Great tour of the palace's secrety byways
garethbrahams, Aug 2019
Took my kids (11, 12, 13) who were "historied out" on this tour much earlier in the day then they would have chosen to have got up and they came out pretty positive about it - so it was pretty good - I certainly found it interesting. At the end of the tour you were left to see the main rooms by yourself which was a bit of a shame. For the price, I would have liked to have been guided around those rooms too. But overall, very pleased we chose to do the tour.
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Product code: 3731DOGES